Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Strokes - Room on Fire


Most of Them

Room on Fire is the perfect follow-up record to Is This It as far as I’m concerned. Why fix something that ain’t broke? Fuck all that noise about evolving and maturing -- the second time around should simply be about the continuation of writing great songs. And we get another collection of brilliant guitar-rock here; some of the riffs are even more intricate than anything on Is This It. A perfect example is the album’s second single, “Reptilia,” and The Strokes highlight as much with long camera shots on the fret work by both Albert Hammond, Jr. and Nick Valensi in the music video.

A few of my favorite Strokes songs are here. “12:51" is where were first introduced to the keyboard-effect Valensi implements throughout Room on Fire. One of my favorite traits about Casablancas as a lyricist is the humor and sarcasm he often includes in his songs, but he might even be fooling himself when he sings “Never needed anybody / Never needed nobody” on “Thin Line Between Love and Hate,” even if the bright two-chord progression suggests happiness. “Automatic Stop” features Hammond, Jr. pitching into the songwriting process for the first time. And as with Is This It The Strokes save the best for last in “I Can’t Win,” a simple little track about accepting failure.

Mila Kunis and Eva Mendes either trying to get their careers off the ground or fans of good music. Or both.

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